We've already seen Google Maps in Apple's demo, but what does Google offer that might be useful on an iPhone?
It's easy to imagine a widget that makes it more convenient to create or edit Blogger posts than using the regular web interface in the iPhone's version of Safari - especially when Google's already done a Dashboard widget for this purpose.
Synchronisation with Google Calendar? Third-party software exists to sync Google Calendar with the Mac's iCal calendar program, and it's hard to believe that the iPhone won't sync like an iPod. That said, the ability to do an over-the-air sync directly with Google Calendar would be a plus. A widget that simply displays a Google Calendar in a convenient format would be a second-best option.
Google Docs & Spreadsheets? Apple and Google will probably make sure it works as well as it can in iPhone Safari, but we can't see any reason to go further than that. The same goes for Google News as well as Google Reader - they're designed to display in a browser, and it's not obvious that a specific front end could add much - though we might have been tempted to say the same before seeing the Google Maps demo.
Our first reaction to the idea of a YouTube widget was that it might put a strain on AT&T's "unlimited" data bundles if used over the air. But Lurie did say "people are going to be asked to have an unlimited package — people are going to have to have a package with us to browse... So I think it's not going to hurt us at all. I'm excited about what it will do for the industry in terms of how people view mobile browsing", so it is a possibility.
We'll get the answers in a few weeks.
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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences, a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies, and is a senior member of the Australian Computer Society.